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Classical 91.7-Arte Público Author of the Month: Xavier Garza

Xavier Garza has been selected as this month’s Classical 91.7/Arte Público Press Author of the Month. In the next installment of a series of monthly features, Classical 91.7’s Eric Ladau spoke with Mr. Garza


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Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Xavier Garza is a prolific author, artist and storyteller whose work focuses primarily on his experiences growing up in the small border town of Rio Grande City. He graduated from the University of Texas — Pan American in 1994 with a BFA.

His first publication was Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys (Piñata Books, 2004), a collection of short stories for intermediate readers based on traditional tales of the supernatural.  He wrote and illustrated his first picture book for children, Lucha Libre: The Man in the Silver Mask: A Bilingual Cuento (Cinco Puntos Press, 2005), which was named an Américas Award Honor Book.  He has since written and illustrated two more picture books for children: Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid (Cinco Puntos Press, 2008) and Zulema and the Witch Owl / Zulema y la Bruja Lechuza (Piñata Books, 2009). His entertaining bilingual picture book for children, Juan and the Chupacabras / Juan y el Chupacabras (Piñata Books, 2006), won the 2008 Tejas Star Award.  In 2010, Garza’s first bilingual short story collection, Kid Cyclone Fights the Devil and Other Stories / Kid Ciclón se enfrenta a le Diablo y otras historias, was published by Piñata Books.

He has exhibited his artwork in various venues throughout Texas.  Xavier Garza and his Masked Marvels collection was featured in the book Contemporary Chicana / Chicano Art: Works, Culture and Education produced by Bilingual Review Press, which chronicled 200 of the top, and up-and-coming, Chicano artists in the country.

Xavier Garza’s stories and illustrations have appeared in such magazines and newspapers as El Mañana, The Monitor, TABE, The Mesquite Review, The Corpus Christi Caller Times, and The Milwaukee Spanish Journal.  He has been included in the anthologies Aztlanahuac Project: Cantos al Sexto Sol (Wings Press, 2002), Penn English: Chicano Writings (Penn State, 2001) and Once Upon a Cuento (Curbstone Press, 2003).